Stressful events in early childhood and developmental trajectories of bedwetting at school age

Carol Joinson, Sarah Sullivan, Alexander von Gontard, Jon Heron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
470 Downloads (Pure)


Objective To examine whether early stressful events are associated with developmental trajectories of bedwetting.

Methods This is a prospective cohort study comprising 8,761 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Stressful events were measured using a maternal questionnaire completed at 3 time-points before their child was age 4. The association between stressful events and trajectories of bedwetting from 4–9 years was examined using multinomial regression.

The association with stressful events was strongest for the frequent persistent bedwetting trajectory (wetting at least twice a week up to age 9). A 1-SD increase in the stressful events score was associated with a 29% (13% - 47%) increase in the odds of experiencing frequent persistent bedwetting compared with normal attainment of nighttime bladder control.

 Clinicians and parents should be aware that continence is a developmental outcome that is associated with high levels of stress in the family.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1010
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number9
Early online date11 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • bedwetting
  • developmental trajectory
  • latent class
  • nocturnal enuresis
  • stressful life events


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